Unlike in her harsh romances set in Britain's urban wastelands, it's nature that rules in British director Andrea Arnold's audacious adaptation of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. And it's even less hospitable; this is no Merchant Ivory version of the often-adapted classic. The Yorkshire countryside sprawls out like a mossy moonscape, and the mud-choked, ramshackle homestead of the title, where the patriarch Earnshaw takes in the foundling Heathcliff (Solomon Glave), at times looks like a set from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Grim natural beauty abounds, but so does natural cruelty, like the casual slaughter of animals, including puppies hung from a fence. Arnold is equally ruthless with Brontë's prose; little survives her reduction of this epic of doomed love to stark images and fragmented dialogue. Only in casting does her version falter; James Howson as the older Heathcliff and Kaya Scodelario as Cathy fade in the overwhelming moors.
IFFB 2012 | 129 MINUTES | APRIL 29 @ 5:15 PM | SOMERVILLE THEATRE